October 6, 2010
News & Opinion: ChangeThis: Issue 75
by Stephen M. Shapiro
"'Opposites attract,' or at least that’s the line we’ve all been fed. However, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Aside from the physics of magnets, the fact is that opposites actually repel. Human beings strive for commonality, and organizations exist amid striking homogeneity—but why is this a concern?"
“I have a simple premise: it’s too complicated. Now, you might say, ‘that’s rather broad, Bill. In your manifesto, you must tell us what is too complicated.’ And I’d respond simply—‘Okay, how about everything.’"
“In the weird, wild world outside the Petri dish, the correct decision is not always the right decision. There's disconnect between the robot logic of business intelligence and human intuition of right and wrong."
“If knowledge really were all it took to be a high performer, then all any of us would have to do would be to read that book or take that class and we’d all be winning championships. We’d all be incredible managers, great teachers, phenomenal parents and performance.
But we’re not. Why?"
"When I talk to former students, clients, and executives, I’ve found that their biggest concern is being effective—going beyond conceiving great new things and actually driving them into practice. [...] Successful change, being effective, involves three things: structuring change, managing change and leading change.
“Today, looking ahead is useless. Prior to this moment in our world, ‘looking ahead’ was the time-tested protocol, perhaps essential and potentially valuable when the world told time in seconds, not nanoseconds. Today, it is almost useless, because when you 'look ahead,' you will see and learn little or nothing.”